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About The Alliance

The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education, Inc. (ADHCE), is a “501 (c) (3) Public Charity”  organization of healthcare educators and professionals (e.g. medicine, nursing, public health, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and others) who are working to integrate disability-related content and experiences into healthcare education and training programs. Through journal article publications, presenting at conferences, and participating on advisory panels and workgroups, the Alliance strives to ensure that the need for disability-related education and training in healthcare is recognized and addressed.

Founding The Alliance

The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education, Inc. was established in recognition that there were health care faculty around the United States who were working to teach health care students about disability within their own institutions, and an understanding that collectively they might be able to broaden the quality and availability of disability-related experiences in health care training programs nationally.  In 2007, a roundtable meeting was held at the Matheny Medical and Educational Center in Peapack, New Jersey.  Participants were ten educators and two graduate students who were identified as having introduced disability-related content and experiences into their institutions’ curricula.  They represented training programs in medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy.  That initial meeting ended with a commitment among the participants to continue sharing ideas and strategies and to explore opportunities for collaboration.  Members of the group continued to meet monthly by telephone and annually for in-person meetings, initially at Tufts University Medical School, picking up new members along the way.  In 2011, the Alliance incorporated as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with Ken Robey, PhD serving as president and Linda Long-Bellil, JD, PhD as vice-president.  Throughout the organization’s existence, it has maintained a cross-discipline and cross-disability focus, and its activities and philosophies have been rooted primarily in the social model of disability.

Historical overview provided by Ken Robey, PhD, Founding President of  The Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education, Inc.



Here's a sample of their amazing work to learn from. They have inspired this growing to carry on their foundational work toward equity in disability healthcare via scholarship to inform disability curriculum in healthcare university programs and strong advocacy, influencing policy.   


​​Alliance for Disability in Health Care Education Founders' Collaborations


Robey, K.L., Minihan, PM., Long-Bellil, L.M., Hahn,

J.E., Reiss, J.G. & Eddey, G.E. (2013). Teaching health care students about

disability within a cultural competency context. Disability and Health

Journal, 6, 271-279.


Long-Bellil, L.M., O’Connor, D., Robey, K.L.,

Minihan, P.M., Graham, C.L. & Smeltzer, S. (2011). Defining

disability in health care education. Academic Medicine, 86(9),



Minihan, P.M., Robey, K.L., Long-Bellil, L.M.,

Graham, C.L., Hahn, J.E., Woodard, L., and Eddey, G. (2011). Desired

educational outcomes of disability-related training for the generalist

physician: Knowledge, attitudes and skills. Academic Medicine, 86(9),



Long-Bellil, L.M., Robey, K.L., Graham, C.L.,

Minihan, P.M., Smeltzer, S. & Kahn, P. (2011). Teaching medical

students about disability: The use of standardized patients. Academic

Medicine, 86(9), 1171-1178.


Thank you Founders - Some of these greats were at the initial 2007 ADHCE meeting while other contributed in the active writings during 2009-2010 that produced these works:

Ken Robey (Matheny Medical and Educational Center, Rutgers University), Linda Long-Bellil (UMass), Dee O'Connor (UMass), Paula M. Minihan (Tufts), suzanne smeltzer (Villanova), Laurie Woodard (U of South Florida), Catherine Leigh Graham (U of South Carolina at the time; now at South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund), Gary E. Eddey, MD, ScM (Matheny), Jaishree Capoor (Mt Sinai), John Reiss (U of Florida), Joan Earle Hahn (UCLA at the time, now at Walden U), Alicia Conill, M.D. (Conill Institute for Chronic Illness)

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